Enhancing Culture sub sector's institutional capacity (MGDS II, Theme 1, Subtheme 6): Expert Facility Project to Strengthen the System of Governance for Culture in Developing Countries
In 2011 the Division of Arts and Crafts in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture applied for technical assistance through the EU-UNESCO funded project, TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO STRENGTHEN THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE FOR CULTURE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. The need to apply for the assistance came against the background that despite Malawi having a draft National Cultural Policy in place, there was need to put in place auxiliary integrated cultural policy strategies to ensure effective and efficient delivery of services towards the development of the cultural industries in the country. Furthermore the ratification of the 2003 and 2005 UNESCO Conventions necessitated the review of the existing policy. The technical assistance project was held from 28 August to 6 October, 2012.
To foster development of the cultural industry through strengthening the institutional and legal frameworks
- To support the Division of Arts and Crafts implement integrated policy strategies for the cultural industries through the design of an action plan.
- To develop institutional capacity of the Division and related cultural operators in quest for developing a vibrant cultural industry
- Long term objectives : To promote participation of all stakeholders in cultural development and ensure ownership of cultural programmes
Two UNESCO experts, Mr. Stephen Chifunyise from Zimbabwe and Miss Basma El Hussein from Egypt were assigned by UNESCO to provide the technical guidance in the project. The project was conducted in two phases.
The first phase was held from 28 August to 10 September, 2012. It mainly consisted of consultative meetings and workshops with officers in the Department of Culture, especially those in the Division of Arts and Crafts, and various actors in the cultural industries to establish the needs of the cultural sector.
The second phase took place from 17th September to 6th October, 2012 and was devoted to the training of both members of the Division of Arts and Crafts and that of cultural operators basing on the observations made during the first phase. Both phases took place in Lilongwe and Blantyre.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
The main challenge observed during the implementation of the project was availability of financial resources to facilitate the carrying out of the activity.
There were several recommendations that were derived from the consultations both towards structural and policy enhancement for effective growth of cultural industries.
- STRUCTURAL AND POLICY ADJUSTMENTS
a. funding for the cultural sector
- The revised cultural policy has set among its priorities the need to ensure sustainable availability of resources for the cultural sector.
b. Restructuring of the cultural Sector and definition of roles
- the Department conducted a functional review wherein a proposal was made to restructure the Department in accordance with the recommendations made by the experts. For instance they recommended that the Censorship board be merged with the Division of Arts and Crafts which was considered in the proposed revision of functions.
- PROFILING UP THE CULTURAL INDUSTRY AND IMPROVED NETWORKING: WEBSITE FOR CULTURAL INDUSTRIES
Among the notable results of the meetings was the realization by the cultural industry players that there was need to have a website that will be a platform for all players in the cultural industries to exchange information. At the moment the website is in place courtesy of the National Coalition of Cultural industries.